Spaces: center for design research
Third Quarter 2012


Old Chamney BarnThe Center for Design Research (CDR) on KU’s west campus off Billings Parkway, is known for two of its iconic buildings: the 80+ year old Chamney Barn and a new building designed by Studio 804. The CDR is one of the first dedicated interdisciplinary workplaces at KU for multiple schools. Activities here focus on new technology and development of consumer products and services. It is part of the School of Architecture, Design & Planning.

The Chamney FarmHouse will be used by faculty and grad students involved in projects done at CDR; one of which is for Bayer Healthcare this fall. The CDR has done projects
for Ford Motor Company, Bushnell Corporation, Nokia, Herman Miller, Inc. and more. The Barn will house two design studios, where students will spend most of their time in their research and development of projects.


Studio 804 BuildingThe award winning, one of a kind, CDR building constructed by Studio 804 will serve as a class space, presentation and other needs for sponsored projects and other School/University needs. “The ‘one of a kind’ comes from the fact that there are a number of sustainable buildings around the country, but to my knowledge it is the only one inclusive of the many sustainable features; such as a wind turbine, 32 solar panels, the first electric vehicle charging station in Kansas and a smart meter provided by Westar Energy. It also has a 40-foot ‘living wall’ made up of 10,000 ferns, and much more,” says Gregory Thomas, professor of design and director of the CDR.

The building was designed and built in 2010-11 by Department of Architecture’s Studio 804. “Masters of architecture students sign up for this class, which designs and constructs a building every year,” notes Thomas. “There were 20 in this specific class, almost evenly split men and women. Some had never held a hammer, others had worked on construction.”

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